Some drivers don't have insurance. Yes, even in states where motorists are required to carry a minimum collision policy - it happens. And if you're reading this, you may be one of the unlucky many to be hit by an uninsured driver. Not so good for you.
But don't worry, you're not completely without recourse. If you've been hit by an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver, you may still be able to get your insurance company or the other party to pay your bills. But to get to that point, you've got to do the following:
1. Get the other driver's information. Yes, even if you've been hit by an uninsured driver. You need to know who hit you so you can take care of steps 2 and 3. Ask to see their license and write down their contact information. Also grab their driver's license and license plate numbers.
2. Call your insurance company. You probably have some form of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance kicks in when the other driver has no coverage at all. Underinsured coverage applies when your damages exceed the other driver's limit.
If you have one of these policies, let your insurance company work its magic. If you don't, or if your policy doesn't cover all of your damages, go to the next step.
3. Call a lawyer. If the uninsured driver is at fault, then he's liable for the full extent of your injuries. With the help of a car accident attorney, you can file a civil suit to recover what you're still owed. And if it's not an incredibly high sum, you may be able to go at it alone and file in small claims court.
When all is said and done, do everyone else a favor. If you live in a mandatory insurance state, report the other motorist to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Help prevent someone else from being hit by an uninsured driver.
- How do I collect on my uninsured motorist coverage? (FindLaw)
- Do underinsured motorist policies differ? (FindLaw)
- 11 Things to Do After a Car Accident (FindLaw's Injured)